This is not a single book review but a set of them, all about Genes and Evolution and all written by Richard Dawkins. For me, personally, it opened up a whole new world that I was blissfully unaware of. I was never a good science student with Biology and Chemistry being one of my least favourite subjects back at school. So, imagine my thrill when I found myself addicted to these books and probably rediscovered some lost part of me. I started with “The Selfish Gene” and later went through “The Blind Watchmaker“, “God Delusion“, “The Greatest Show on Earth“, “The Ancestor’s Tale” and “The River out of Eden“. There is no specific order in which to read these books. Each book is a gem in itself but I would suggest starting with “The Greatest Show on Earth” or “The Blind Watchmaker” if you don’t want to get bogged down with technicalities.
There are some mind blowing concepts and to be able to truly appreciate them, you need an open mind – preferably a curious one too, without the baggage of religious dogma. Even if you are of the religious type, you can still enjoy the intricacies of ‘Genetics’ and ‘Evolution’ and thrilled by the answers or at the least probings into deep questions like
- Can promiscuity in the animal kingdom explained by evolutionary pressure?
- Why are we so attached to our siblings and kids. Is there any science behind it and why/how does it reduce as you go through the family tree?
- Is it even conceivable that something as complex as our eyes can be achieved without a design?
- Is evolution random or does it have some kind of incremental logic?
- How are genes very similar to the computer digital codes in terms of its ability to duplicate and high fidelity transmission?
Dawkins is one of those brilliant writers who knows how to explain complex science in simple words. You can listen to the well made audiobook versions too available in Amazon Audible read by Dawkins himself along with Lala.
[ originally written on 2nd Aug 2022 and later updated with more details ]